Case: Killed by her mentally ill son: Tamara Holboll
Tamara Holboll
Peter Holboll
Status: Solved
Categories: Mental Illness, Domestic
Case synopsis:

Tamara Holboll, 67, was stabbed to death by her mentally ill son at her home in Kentish Town on 9 May 2014.

Her body was discovered in the kitchen after firefighters were called to a blaze at the ground floor flat in Lawford Road at around 5.16am.

Two women, a couple and their baby, who lived on the first and second floors of the house were woken by the noise and smoke and escaped by climbing out of a window on to the roof.

Mrs Holboll was pronounced dead at the scene. A postmortem gave the cause of death as multiple stab wounds to the neck and chest. She had also suffered blunt trauma to the back of the head.

Detectives launched a murder investigation and appealed for help tracing the victim's son Peter Holboll. He was arrested later the same day after he asked to be admitted to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead.

On 10 May police charged Peter Holboll, 44 [24/02/70], of Tottenham Street, Fitzrovia, with murder and arson.

He pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility and arson at the Old Bailey on 3 November 2014.

The court heard Holboll was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1994 and was sectioned ten times before his condition stabilised in 2003.

Although he lived alone in Fitzrovia he stayed at his mother's house when he began feeling ill and she began raising concerns again in August 2013.

On 7 May 2014 she contacted the CRRT team at Camden and Islington NHS Trust and asked for her son to be admitted to hospital because of concerns for her own safety.

Prosecutor Ed Brown QC said: 'She asked for help as her son needed to be taken to hospital and she was afraid he was going to hurt her as he was not well.

'A short time later she called them again asking for help. She was adamant they sent somebody out to take him to hospital.

'She was described as being overly dramatic.'

Peter Holboll himself told nurses: 'My mum's doing my head in and I can't take it any more. I am at the end. You will have to put me in hospital.'

Mr Brown said: 'The decision was made that he did not pose an immediate risk to his mother and did not need to be taken into care nor was there a hospital bed available.'

The next day he was visited by specialist nurses but it was decided he did not need to be admitted to hospital as he had agreed to take his medication.

Holboll was next caught on CCTV at 4.45am leaving the flat to buy firelighters. Twenty minutes later neighbours were woken by the front door slamming as he left, having started four fires inside the ground floor flat.

The Recorder of London, judge Brian Barker QC, ordered Holboll to be detained indefinitely under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act.

He said: 'This is a sad story on any view. You have a long history of mental illness and the management of that illness has clearly been difficult for yourself and your mother.

'What happened on the 8 and 9 May highlights how difficult it is to assess the severity of relapses and allocate the resources available.

'It is indeed fortunate those upstairs residents acted so quickly and sensibly and nobody else was harmed.

'The nature of the offence, your background and the previous medical history all point to the fact there is a real risk the public will suffer real harm.'

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